Older California employees may face various challenges in the workplace because of their age. If you are over the age of 40, you may find that you experience treatment that feels unfair or even discriminatory, and this may be because of your age. Workers of all ages have the right to a workplace that is free from illegal harassment and discrimination.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is federal legislation that provides certain protections for you as a worker age 40 or older. It may be in your interests to learn more about this act and the types of protections it provides you in your workplace. When you know your rights, you will be able to identify situations that may merit you taking legal action against your employer.
The ADEA and your rights
It is not always easy to determine if what you are experiencing counts as age discrimination. If you experience negative treatment because you are older than other employees, that could meet the legal definition of age discrimination. The ADEA prevents employers from allowing age to play a role in decisions related to the following:
- Hiring or firing
- Continuing education opportunities
Additionally, employers cannot make fun of your age, make harassing comments or pressure you to retire. The ADEA protects you from certain types of treatment, and it prevents employers from acting in certain ways that are unfair to older workers.
There are a few exceptions to the ADEA. For example, an employer can list a certain age limit when searching for candidates for a job opening, but only if having workers of a certain age is a bona fide requirement for the job. If you are unsure if age discrimination applies to what you are currently experiencing, it may help to seek legal guidance.
Where to start with protecting your rights
Protecting your rights as a worker is not easy, especially if you are unsure about what qualifies as discrimination and inappropriate treatment. A good place to start may be to simply seek an evaluation of your case and explanation of the legal options available to you.
If you are a victim of age discrimination, you may have grounds to move forward with a civil claim against your employer. It may be possible to get compensation because of what you experienced in the workplace.